8 Proven Ways to Grow your Language School

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Growing a language school is like nothing else in the world. It takes grit, determination and a unique kind of person to do it. 

Someone with a massive heart and TONS of ambition who cares deeply about making an impact. Someone like you – who perhaps used to be a teacher too.

If you’re like most language school owners I know, you have no problems with the teaching side of things. But the business, marketing and logistics stuff quickly gets confusing, overwhelming and exhausting. Am I right?

Well, not to worry! Lucky for you I have experience with both sides of running a school, and I’m here to share my best advice to make it easier.

Here are 8 practical steps you can take to grow your language school for more ease, sustainability, satisfaction and profit.

1. Get crystal clear on what makes you different

You may have noticed that there are tons of schools in your area or your market offering similar courses and promising similar results. So, it may feel super saturated and competitive and hard to stand out. But standing out is key to growing your language school. 

So, if you haven’t already got a clear idea of what makes you different from everyone else, make it your number one priority to find your unique selling point.

It may be a special method you use, the type of courses you offer, the tools you use to teach, or the out-of-class opportunities you offer to your students. There is no right or wrong answer to this. At the end of the day, it’s about finding what makes YOU different!!

2. Create new offers that stand out

Once you have dug into what makes you different, it’s time to create offers that reflect that. 

One of the best decisions I made when running my language school was creating offers that didn’t last a whole term, like all my competitors did. I know that might sound crazy – your income is seasonal enough, right? 

But the reality is that many adult students are now looking for faster, more tangible results than what traditional language classes offer. And because we responded to that trend, we had no problem filling the courses all year round. 

Creating new offers doesn’t only have to be about duration though. Especially if you teach children. You may also consider adding a unique spin to your courses, like one of my past clients did.

She runs an English school, but she also has a talent and passion for drama. So, her courses combine singing, dancing and acting with the language, and her clients absolutely love it!

Whatever type of school you run, I challenge you to think of a new angle you can take to lean into your strengths and stand out.

3. Understand your target audience

This is something that a LOT of language teachers and school owners skim over when they start marketing their businesses. They will find out basic information about their ideal students like their age and location and leave it at that. But this approach can only take you so far. 

When it comes to growing your language school, you NEED to fully understand who you are speaking to. That means researching what their real-life goals are with using the language, what support they need to do it and what they are struggling with. 

Only when you know who your ideal student is can you then create content that speaks to them and helps them see you as the right school. 

I know that this might sound boring and time-consuming. But since so few language schools do super detailed research into their ideal clients, it will benefit you massively!

4. Focus on marketing that delivers results

As a busy language school owner, you don’t have time to be worrying about posting carousels and reels or trying to stay consistent on social media. You need to be thinking more strategically about the bigger picture. 

What marketing channels should you use to reach a bigger audience? What kind of content speaks to these people? Which channels get the best results and feel most manageable?

Focus on marketing activities that are going to get you the exposure you need AND deliver a good return on investment (both in terms of time and money). And make sure to track everything you’re doing, so you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

5. STOP TEACHING!!!

I could tell you exactly how to grow your language school. But you cannot do any of it if you don’t have any time. 

And if you’re spending half of your weeks teaching in your school… well, I think we both know that isn’t going to work. 

I totally get it. You started this business out of passion. You want to help people. And you probably still love to teach. But the truth is that if you want to grow your language school to new heights, you have to step away from the classroom. 

But just remember that by embracing your role as CEO and employing superstar teachers who believe in your mission, you can actually help MORE students and make a bigger impact. 

6. Implement systems to do manual work

If you find yourself working late into the night trying to finish off admin bits, then automating tasks will literally change your life. 

By investing in the right systems, you can free up hours of your time and make sure that key tasks in your business run smoothly. 

For example:

  • Online scheduling tools like Calendly can help the booking process run smoothly. 
  • Email automation software like Mailerlite can welcome new people as soon as they join your email list.
  • Tools like Asana can help you organise your whole team and keep everyone on the same page. 
  • Social media scheduling tools like Buffer or Later can help you plan your content weeks in advance. 

And this is just the start! There is SO MUCH you can do to streamline your processes. And although it may take a while to set up, it pays off by saving you time (which you can use to grow your school) and making sure your clients feel well looked after (which leads to more referrals and conversions). Win win!

7. Get yourself out there!

It’s so easy to get sucked into the everyday management of running a language school that you can forget to be present and active in the wider business community. 

Whether you are running an online or a brick-and-mortar language school, I bet that there are people out there who would benefit from your expertise! Try pitching yourself to podcasts, applying to speak at events or even writing guest articles on your specialism. 

I don’t just mean for language businesses, either. Think outside the box for who else might be interested in what you do. For example, if you teach expats Italian in Rome, what about reaching out to relocation companies or young professionals networks to see if they want to collaborate on something? So few schools do this that it can be a huge advantage if you do!

8. Collaborate with other schools

I know, I know. It sounds crazy, right? Well, hear me out because I honestly believe that collaborating with other school owners can be one of the BEST things that you can do to grow your business. 

Not only do these people know exactly the kind of challenges you face, they also probably have great tips on how to solve them. Running a language school can feel super lonely at times, so having a support network in your corner makes all the difference!